Does Canada celebrate Halloween? Of course, it does! As a Western country, Halloween is a very important festival in Canada. Not only that, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Halloween was estimated to be a $ 1 billion industry in Canada, making it the second most commercially successful festival in Canada, right after Christmas. Halloween has over 200 years of history in the land of Canada. Following the pace of the article, there are plenty of interesting facts about this creepy ghost festival waiting for you to discover.
Why do Canadians Celebrate Halloween?
The reason why Canadians celebrate Halloween is related to the old beliefs of the Celtics. And speaking of that, we need to mention the origin of Halloween in Canada. Until the mid-1800s, when large numbers of Irish and Scottish immigrants moved to Canada, the celebration of Halloween was introduced to Canada along with their customs. The very first recorded instance of disguise-wearing and costume-wearing for Halloween celebrations in North America was in Vancouver, in 1898. And the first recorded use of the term "Trick or Treat" was in Alberta, in 1927.
Halloween is the one night in the whole year when, according to old Celtic beliefs, spirits and the dead can cross over into the world of the living. Until the 1990s, Halloween became more popular in Canada and the popularity lasted till today.
How Does Canada Celebrate Halloween?
Nowadays, the celebration of Halloween is getting more and more diverse and fun. Many people in Canada dress up and go to disguised parties. Kids would go out for tricks and treats, wives would compare who decorates the best Halloween-themed house. Following are some traditional and new customs Canadian people do on Halloween.
Trick-or-Treating itself is believed made up of various Halloween customs. They are souling, mummering, and guising. But the tradition actually started because people believed during Halloween dead family members' souls can return to earth and go back home, so people would prepare food and chairs for them to rest in. This eventually led poor beggars and the homeless to knock and ask for help. They would pray for the dead and ask for food to eat. A long time later, the behavior was accepted by people, and then the "Trick or Treat" was there. People in Canada also like it and love to do Tricks or Treat around the neighborhood with costumes.
As a part of trick or treating,mummering is to dress up in disguises, with faces covered, and go door to door to offer anything they can offer for coins, commonly in Canada, are tricking, children would sing songs and dance or even tell stories for coins or candies.
Guising is similar to mummering, except that guising has more tricks to play, the reward usually includes coins, apples, nuts, toys, and other fidgets.
One of the funniest and most creative Halloween traditions is carving the pumpkin into a lantern. It is an old tradition that can be traced back all the way to Ireland, where Halloween originated. Local people carve turnips and put candles or embers inside in order to chase darkness and evil away. Nowadays, carving a pumpkin with family is a very happy and loving thing to do. The figures of the pumpkins are also very attractive with numerous talented designs. I bet the Jack-O-Lantern now has way more fun than it used to be.
Canadian people are keen on dressing up in costumes, cosplays, and horror clothes. The Halloween Parade is more like an outdoor disguised party, where you can see all people of all different tastes, wearing different costumes, walking down the streets, doing funny things together, or just playing Tricks or Treat with neighbors. If you live in Canada, then you have to go to a Halloween Parade, at least once, or you'll regret it when you leave Canada, since there won't be a lot of chances to attend such a great parade with vibes so nice.
Haunt attractions have become more and more popular in recent years. It is the place where you and your friend want to go challenge and scream loudly inside together. Haunted houses got pretty popular due to their neighboring country, the USA got the Walt Disney and the Haunted Mansion. Haunted houses now have become more of pursuing a "realistic" horror experience. The haunt will allow you to have physical contact with props and monsters, touching real roaches and bugs, blood fluids and creepy figures, and audio. It is something fun that you should try, well, maybe?
How Canadians' Halloween differs from America's？
The biggest difference between Halloweens in Canada and in the USA is the origin of this festival. Canadian Halloween originated from Irish and Celtic cultures, while American Halloween originated from Christian culture. They are still both festivals memorizing the dead. Despite the origins having a little controversy, There are only some details and customs where the two countries differ from each other. Like Americans are more familiar to eat pumpkin pies using the pumpkin they used for Jack'O Lanterns, while Canadians are ditching pumpkins and started to use balloons or other fruit to replace pumpkins. Also, even if you do a "Trick or Treat" in Canada and get candies, there's still might be a chance that the owner of the house ask you to perform a "trick" for them.
There are also some special customs that are exclusive to Canada. For example, a prop called Hair of the Bogeyman must be used when children use them to do tricks, and there are people dressed up like Bogeyman to sell their hair. Sometimes, the owner of the house might also trick you by giving you cod-flavor candy, which is a kind of strange taste candy only exclusive in Canada.
Does Canada take a vacation on Halloween?
Unfortunately, October 31, which is Halloween, isn't a public holiday. That means schools, works, companies, businesses, and groceries stores are open on that day as usual weekday. There are good sides to this though. Since Halloween is commonly believed to be a widely accepted and celebrated festival, institutions and companies usually allow people more time to prepare for this festival, under the circumstances that normal affairs aren't disrupted. There are also conveniences since public transportation and stores are still run normally, and people don't have to rush to prepare for the festival one or even two weeks in advance, just like Christmas.
How have Halloween events in Canada changed over the years?
Over the past 30 years, Halloween got more popular and celebrated by more people. The original meaning of the festival itself has gradually faded, and it has been accepted by the mainstream culture and mixed with a bunch of horror movie elements to become a way of expressing unique personalities, disguise parties also become more common and favored by people. Nowadays, Halloween has become less religious and more fun and casual.
As a tradition which has lasted over 200 years on the land of Canada, it has become one of the most important festival for Canadian people every year. With all the celebrations and traditions, we chase the dark away and guide past souls. Do you want some more Halloween elements in your house? Click the link to see our suggestions of the best Halloween plushies. Or you can come to PlushThis and select your favorite among the vast options in our Halloween Gifts collection.
Is Halloween a popular holiday in Canada?
Yes it is, Canada is one of the countries that keeps the most traditional way of celebrating Halloween. You can see all the traditions here, along with the new funny activities people invented. If you live near Canada, you should go there for a good festive vibe.
Why do Canadians hand out candies on Halloween?
It is sort of a tradition, developed from "soul cake", people used to deliver desserts on Halloween, and nowadays, people are more used to handing out candies since kids like them more, and, it is more convenient to give out.
Why do people celebrate Halloween?
It is a festival celebrating the dead coming from the world beneath back to earth and coming back home. It is similar to festivals in Mexico, the El Dia de Muertos, and the Qingming Jie in China.